Farewell to the Wii-U
There is always something magical about a new Nintendo system, possibly more so than Sony or Xbox. You look at it with enthusiasm and go ‘ok! Yeah! What do we have this time?’ and then you open it, set it up and let Nintendo show you how to game their way.
It was late 2012 when the Wii U was released to almost little fanfare, a badly titled console and little marketing had people thinking it to be an accessory rather than a new console and a weak launch lineup it struggled out of the gate. Sadly the system was never truly adopted by third parties or the public themselves and it continued to limp along until it’s eventual demise in 2017.
But you could look anywhere to find the shortcomings of the console, let’s talk about what is truly important in a games console; the games. And boy, did the Wii U deliver on games, while it would be impossible for me to list all of them I will discuss some of my favourites and some hidden classics.
First up we have Nintendoland, Nintendo’s obligatory ‘pack in’ title for the console and by far one of my favourite titles for the launch period, compromising of 12 mini-games (most of which are far bigger than first impressions) from series such as The Legend Of Zelda, Metroid, F-Zero, Balloon Flight and Pikmin. These range from simple single player games to frantic online ones. While it was simply a tool to show off the features of the Wii U gamepad, I felt myself coming back to many of the titles on numerous occasions.
The Metroid and Pikmin titles in the bundle are certainly two of the finest parts of the bundle as the adventures are large enough to get a few hours of play from them, while not full games on their own they certainly manage to entertain either with yourself or a few friends.
Next up we have The Wonderful 101. Released by Platinum Games this title has you in charge of a group of up to 100 super heroes as they unite to take on an alien race. The action is fast paced and challenging as you use the Wii U pad to turn the heroes into giant fists, swords, whips, guns and other weapons. Similar to Pikmin or Little King’s Story you can use the people in your team to the fullest extent, sending them to
The game is graphically beautiful and the controls are incredibly tight, couple this with increasingly challenging levels and missions will make some of the most experienced gamers tear out their hair. But the game is always fair, you lose because of your lack of experience rather than the game being cheap and until the very end, the game’s wacky story will have you laughing.
JRPG fans were happy to see Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE appear on their system mid 2016, a combination of Shin Megami Tensei with Fire Emblem characters as you control a rag-tag team of heroes in modern day Tokyo as you do battle against Mirages, Spirits and Demons, using a fast-paced turn-based battle system and encompassing a mixture of Japanese Rock and Pop the game is definitely well worth a look for fans of the genre.
Of course, we couldn’t discuss Mario or any of his adventures, of course, there are many titles out from New Super Mario U, New Luigi U, Super Mario 3D World, Mario Maker, Yarn Yoshi and Mario Party 10.
The one to keep our attention for a good amount of the console time was Mario Kart 8. Following the tried and tested Mario Kart formula the game manages to exceed expectations with plenty of amazing tracks that are a pleasure to drive through, either by yourself in the single player mode or with friends either local or online, an array of classic items among new game changing ones means it’s always worth having the game on hand. It was also one of the examples of how to do DLC correctly with multiple track packs and extra karts on the menu.
Finally it’s time to discuss my personal favourite game for the Wii U: Xenoblade Chronicles X, a JRPG Open World title brought to us by Monolith Soft, taking place on the planet Mira where the last of Humanity has crash landed ‘New LA’ on the hostile surface, it’s up to yourself and fellow comrades in locating the Lifehold Core or else they’ll all die.
The world is huge and full of secrets and of course monsters that can kill you in one hit. A number of missions and content in the game is comparable to a lot of MMOs (as of writing I’ve clocked over 500 hours and still have a tonne of unique monsters to kill.) and each and every hour is a blessing. The feeling of being able to explore a whole new world to this extent is rarely given and the added Skells appeased the mech fan in me.
It was the first game in a long time that actually took my breath away with how amazing the world looked and felt, monsters will go about their daily lives either oblivious to you or will actively chase you down. An early segment of the game takes you across an early area and that along with getting my first Skell will forever be one of the greatest game moments for me and of course I couldn’t ignore the soundtrack, possibly one of the finest in gaming in recent history either.
The Nintendo Wii U is an underrated console that will no doubt be appreciated in the future. While we have discussed some choice titles here there are plenty of others including Bayonetta 1+2, Hyrule Warriors, Shovel Knight, Pokken Tournament, Pikmin 3, Project Zero, Kirby Rainbow Brush, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Splatoon, Darksiders 1 + 2, Teslagrad, Art Academy and not to mention the influx of indie titles and e-shop treats or even the often ignored 3rd party and shovelware titles (and as someone who once owned most of the Wii U collection I can confirm there are a LOT of great titles most wouldn’t pick up including Disney’s Planes, Tank! Tank! Tank! Legend of Kay and Art Academy)
For this reviewer, the Wii U will be a console that I’ll play long after the system has been forgotten in the public eye and it’s more than enough proof that quality titles do make a great system. While others may look down on it for me it captures what gaming is all about. The adventure, the story, the fun.
So long Wii U. If the Switch is half as good as you are, to me you’ll be a great console too.